"One thing that sets the fundamental tone is there's very few members and, virtually no university president that thinks it's a good idea to convert student-athletes into paid employees. Literally into professionals," NCAA president Mark Emmert said Monday at Marquette University.
"Then you have something very different from collegiate athletics. One of the guiding principles (of the NCAA) has been that this is about students who play sports."
I couldn't agree more! Let's be honest, NCAA scholarship athletes do get paid! They get a scholarship to get a free education and in many cases, that includes room, board and books!
In reality, athletes have been getting paid for a long, long time and there's no reason to turn amateur athletes into professionals while they're still in college!
IN case you didn't know, the NCAA is facing an antitrust lawsuit from former players who believe they're owed millions of dollars in compensation.
"(There's) enormous tension right now that's growing between the collegiate model and the commercial model," said Emmert. "And, by the way, this is nothing new. This tension has been going on forever and ever. It has gotten greater now because the magnitude of dollars has gotten really, really large."
"The most valuable (television) products are things you have to watch in real time, and that's sports and 'Dancing with the Stars,'" he added. "So we're seeing an explosion in the value of sports media properties and that's injected a lot of revenue into sports. That's led to a lot of the discussion. This whole notion of, first and foremost, treating student-athletes in fair fashion while still maintaining the student-athlete, is at the core of all of this."
Look, like it or not, college athletics has become big business. But that's not anything new! Other than the fact that the dollar signs have gotten larger over the years, college football and men's basketball has been bringing in big bucks for decades. In many cases, those two sports are the revenue sports that fuel the entire athletic department! That we should be able to agree on!
What continues to be a sticking point for many of these young athletes is the fact that they feel like they're the product people are coming to see and therefore deserve to be paid! What they're forgetting is the fact that they already get something that most other students in college don't get, a full ride scholarship!
Call me old fashioned, but I still think amateurs playing sports in college is the right way to go, and from the sounds of things, it looks like the current membership of the NCAA agrees with me!